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To the right honourable Sir Christopher Hatton, Lord high Chauncelor of England. &c.
THhose prudent heads, that with theire counsels wise
Whylom the Pillours of th’ earth did sustaine,
And taught ambitious Rome to tyrannise,
And in the neck of all the world to rayne,
Oft from those grauegrave affaires were wont abstaine,
With the sweet Lady Muses for to play:
So Ennius the elder Africane,
So Maro oft did Cæsars cares allay.
So you great Lord, that with your counsell sway
he burdeine of this kingdom mightily,
With like delightes sometimes may eke delay,
The rugged brow of carefull Policy:
And to these ydle rymes lend litle space,
Which for their titles sake may find more grace.
To the right honourable the Lo. Burleigh Lo. high Threasurer of England.
TOo you right noble Lord, whose carefull brest
To menage of most grauegrave affaires is bent,
And on whose mightie shoulders most doth rest
The burdein of this kingdomes gouernementgovernement,
As the wide compasse of the firmament,
On Atlas mighty shoulders is vpstaydupstayd;
VnfitlyUnfitly I these ydle rimes present,
The labor of lost time, and wit vnstaydunstayd:
Yet if their deeper sence be inly wayd,
And the dim vele, with which from comune vew
Their fairer parts are hid, aside be layd.
Perhaps not vaine they may appeare to you.
Such as they be, vouchsafe them to receauereceave,
And wipe their faults out of your censure grauegrave .
E. S.
To the right Honourable the Earle of Oxenford, Lord high Chamberlayne of England. &c.
REeceiue most Noble Lord in gentle gree,
The vnripeunripe fruit of an vnreadyunready wit:
Which by thy countenaunce doth crauecrave to bee
Defended from foule EnuiesEnvies poisnous bit.
Which so to doe may thee right well befit,
Sith th’antique glory of thine auncestry
VnderUnder a shady vele is therein writ,
And eke thine owne long liuingliving memory,
Succeeding them in true nobility:
And also for the louelove, which thou doest beare
To th’Heliconian ymps, and they to thee,
They vntounto thee, and thou to them most deare:
Deare as thou art vntounto thy selfe, so louelove
That louesloves & honours thee, as doth behouebehove.
To the right honourable the Earle of Northumberland.
THhe sacred Muses hauehave made alwaies clame
To be the Nourses of nobility,
And Registres of euerlastingeverlasting fame,
To all that armes professe and cheualrychevalry.
Then by like right the noble Progeny,
Which them succeed in fame and worth, are tyde
T’embrace the seruiceservice of sweete Poetry,
By whose endeuours they are glorifide,
And eke from all, of whom it is enuideenvide,
To patronize the authour of their praise,
Which giuesgives them life, that els would soone hauehave dide,
And crownes their ashes with immortall baies.
To thee therefore right noble Lord I send
This present of my paines, it to defend.
To the right honourable the Earle of Cumberland.
REedoubted Lord, in whose corageous mind
The flowre of cheualrychevalry now bloosming faire,
Doth promise fruite worthy the noble kind,
Which of their praises hauehave left you the haire;
To you this humble present I prepare,
For louelove of vertue and of Martiall praise,
To which though nobly ye inclined are,
As goodlie well ye shew’d in late assaies,
Yet brauebrave ensample of long passed daies,
In which trew honor yee may fashiond see,
To like desire of honor may ye raise,
And fill your mind with magnanimitee.
ReceiueReceive it Lord therefore as it was ment,
For honor of your name and high descent.
E. S.
To the most honourable and excellent Lo. the Earle of Essex. Great Maister of the Horse to her Highnesse, and knight of the Noble order of the Garter. &c.
MAagnificke Lord, whose vertues excellentexellent
Doe merit a most famous Poets witt,
To be thy liuingliving praises instrument,
Yet doe not sdeigne, to let thy name be writt
In this base Poeme, for thee far vnfittunfitt.
Nought is thy worth disparaged thereby,
But when my Muse, whose fethers nothing flitt
Doe yet but flagg, and lowly learne to fly
With bolder wing shall dare alofte to sty
To the last praises of this Faery Queene,
Then shall it make more famous memory
Of thine Heroicke parts, such as they beene:
Till then vouchsafe thy noble countenaunc,,
To these first labours needed furtheraunce,
To the right Honourable the Earle of Ormond and Ossory.
REeceiue most noble Lord a simple taste
Of the wilde fruit, which saluagesalvage soyl hath bred,
Which being through long wars left almost waste,
With brutish barbarisme is ouerspreddoverspredd:
And in so faire a land, as may be redd,
Not one Parnassus, nor one Helicone
Left for sweete Muses to be harboured,
But where thy selfe hast thy brauebrave mansione,
There in deede dwel faire Graces many one.
And gentle Nymphes, delights of learned wits,
And in thy person without Paragone
All goodly bountie and true honour sits,
Such therefore, as that wasted soyl doth yield,
ReceiueReceive dear Lord in worth, the fruit of barren field.
To the right honourable the Lo. Ch. Howard, Lo. high Admi ral of England, knight of the noble order of the Garter, and one of her MaiestiesMajesties priuieprivie Counsel. &c.
ANnd ye, brauebrave Lord, whose goodly personage,
And noble deeds each other garnishing,
Make you ensample to the present age,
Of th’old Heroes, whose famous ofspring
The antique Poets wont so much to sing,
In this same Pageaunt hauehave a worthy place,
Sith those huge castles of Castilian king,
That vainly threatned kingdomes to displace,
Like flying douesdoves ye did before you chace;
And that proud people woxen insolent
Through many victories, didst first deface:
Thy praises euerlastingeverlasting monument
Is in this verse engrauenengraven semblably,
That it may liuelive to all posterity.
To the right honourable the Lord of Hunsdon, high Chamberlaine to her MaiestyMajesty.
REenowmed Lord, that for your worthinesse
And noble deeds hauehave your deserueddeserved place,
High in the fauourfavour of that Emperesse.
The worlds sole glory and her sexes grace,
Here eke of right hauehave you a worthie place,
Both for your nearnes to that Faerie Queene,
And for your owne high merit in like cace,
Of which, apparaunt proofe was to be seene,
When that tumultuous rage and fearfull deene
Of Northerne rebels ye did pacify,
And their disloiall powre defaced clene,
The record of enduring memory.
LiueLive Lord for euerever in this lasting verse,
That all posteritie thy honor may reherse.
E. S.
To the most renowmed and valiant Lord, the Lord Grey of Wilton, knight of the Noble order of the Garter, &c.
MOost Noble Lord the pillor of my life,
And Patrone of my Muses pupillage,
Through whose large bountie poured on me rife,
In the first season of my feeble age,
I now doe liuelive, bound yours by vassalage:
Sith nothing euerever may redeeme, nor reauereave
Out of your endlesse debt so sure a gage,
Vouchsafe in worth this small guift to receauereceave,
Which in your noble hands for pledge I leaueleave,
Of all the rest, that I am tyde t’account:
Rude rymes, the which a rustick Muse did weaueweave
In fauadge soyle, far from Parnasso mount,
And roughly wrought in an vnlearnedunlearned Loome:
The which vouchsafe dear Lord your fauorablefavorable doome
To the right honourable the Lord of Buckhurst, one of her MaiestiesMajesties priuieprivie Counsell.
INn vain I thinke right honourable Lord,
By this rude rime to memorize thy name;
Whose learned Muse hath writ her owne record,
In golden verse, worthy immortal fame:
Thou much more fit (were leasure to the same)
Thy gracious Souerain praises to compile.
And her imperiall MaiestieMajestie to frame,
In loftie numbers and heroicke stile.
But sith thou maist not so, giuegive leaueleave a while
To baser wit his power therein to spend,
Whose grosse defaults thy daintie pen may file,
And vnaduisedunadvised ouersightsoversights amend.
But euermoreevermore vouchsafe it to maintaine
Against vile Zoilus backbitings vaine.
To the right honourable Sir Fr. Walsingham knight, principall Secretary to her MaiestyMajesty, and of her honourable priuyprivy Counsell.
THhat Mantuane Poetes incompared spirit,
Whose girland now is set in highest place,
Had not Mecœnas for his worthy merit,
It first aduaunstadvaunst to great Augustus grace,
Might long perhaps hauehave lien in silence bace,
Ne bene so much admir’d of later age.
This lowly Muse, that learns like steps to trace,
Flies for like aide vntounto your Patronage;
That are the great Mecenas of this age,
As wel to al that ciuilcivil artes professe
As those that are inspird with Martial rage,
And crauescraves protection of her feeblenesse:
Which if ye yield, perhaps ye may her rayse
In bigger tunes to sound your liuingliving prayse.
E. S.
To the right noble Lord and most valiaunt Captaine, Sir IohnJohn Norris knight, Lord president of Mounster,
VVHho euerever gauegave more honourable prize
To the sweet Muse, then did the Martiall crew;
That their brauebrave deeds she might immortalize
In her shril tromp, and sound their praises dew?
Who then ought more to fauourfavour her, then you
Moste noble Lord, the honor of this age,
And Precedent of all that armes ensue?
Whose warlike prowesse and manly courage,
Tempred with reason and aduizementadvizement sage
Hath fild sad Belgicke with victorious spoile,
In Fraunce and Ireland left a famous gage,
And lately shakt the Lusitanian soile.
Sith then each where thou hast dispredd thy fame,
LoueLove him, that hath eternized your name.
E. S.
To the right noble and valorous knight, Sir Walter Raleigh, Lo. Wardein of the Stanneryes, and lieftenaunt of Cornewaile.
TOo thee that art the sommers Nightingale,
Thy souerainesoveraine Goddesses most deare delight,
Why doe I send this rusticke Madrigale,
That may thy tunefull eare vnseasonunseason quite?
Thou onely fit this Argument to write,
In whose high thoughts Pleasure hath built her bowre,
And dainty louelove learnd sweetly to endite.
My rimes I know vnsauoryunsavory and sowre,
To tast the streames, that like a golden showre
Flow from thy fruitfull bead, of thy louesloves praise,
Fitter perhaps to thonder Martiall stowre,
When so thee list thy lofty Muse to raise:
Yet till that thou thy Poeme wilt make knowne,
Let thy faire Cinthias praises bee thus rudely showne.
E. S.
To the right honourable and most vertuous Lady, the Countesse of Penbroke.
REemembraunce of that most Heroicke spirit,
The heuenshevens pride, the flory of our daies,
Which now triumpheth through immortall merit
Of his brauebrave vertues, crownd with lasting baies,
Of heuenlie blis and euerlastingeverlasting praies;
Who first my Muse did lift out of the flore,
To sing his sweet delights in lowlie laies;
Bids me most noble Lady to adore
His goodly image liuingliving euermoreevermore,
In the diuinedivine resemblaunce of your face;
Which with your vertues ye embellish more,
And natiuenative beauty deck with heuenlie grace:
For his, and for your owne especial sake,
Vouchsafe from him this tokẽtoken in good worth to take.
E. S.
6.1. excellent] 1590 state 2; exellent 1590 state 1
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Re-selecting textual changes . . .

Introduction

The toggles above every page allow you to determine both the degree and the kind of editorial intervention present in the text as you read it. They control, as well, the display of secondary materials—collational notes, glosses, and links to commentary.

Textual Changes

The vagaries of early modern printing often required that lines or words be broken. Toggling Modern Lineation on will reunite divided words and set errant words in their lines.

Off: That a large share it hewd out of the rest, (blest. And glauncing downe his shield, from blame him fairely (FQ I.ii.18.8-9) On: That a large share it hewd out of the rest, And glauncing downe his shield, from blame him fairely blest.

Toggling Expansions on will undo certain early modern abbreviations.

Off: Sweet slõbring deaw, the which to sleep them biddes: (FQ I.i.36.4)

Toggling Modern Characters on will convert u, v, i, y, and vv to v, u, j, i, and w. (N.B. the editors have silently replaced ſ with s, expanded most ligatures, and adjusted spacing according contemporary norms.)

Off: And all the world in their subiection held, Till that infernall feend with foule vprore (FQ I.i.5.6-7) On: And all the world in their subjection held, Till that infernall feend with foule uprore

Toggling Lexical Modernizations on will conform certain words to contemporary orthographic standards.

Off: But wander too and fro in waies vnknowne (FQ I.i.10.5) On: But wander to and fro in waies vnknowne.

Toggling Emendations on will correct obvious errors in the edition on which we base our text and modernize its most unfamiliar features.

Most lothsom, filthie, foule, and full of vile disdaine (FQ I.i.14.9) 14.9. Most lothsom] this edn.; Mostlothsom 1590

(The text of 1590 reads Mostlothsom, while the editors’ emendation reads Most lothsom.)

Apparatus

Toggling Collation Notes on will highlight words that differ among printings.

And shall thee well rewarde to shew the place, (FQ I.i.31.5) 5. thee] 1590; you 15961609

(The text of 1590 reads thee, while the texts of 1596 and 1609 read you.)

Toggling Commentary Links on will show links to the editors’ commentary.

Toggling Line Numbers on will show the number of the line within each stanza.

Toggling Stanza Numbers on will show the number of the stanza within each canto.

Toggling Glosses on will show the definitions of unfamiliar words or phrases.

To my long approoved and singular good frende, Master G.H. (Letters I.1) 1. long aprooved: tried and true, found trustworthy over a long period